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January 12th 2010    Tim Candler

     In some parts of the world Tuesday is unlucky.   But let's not allow that to dampen enthusiasm for the difficult business of preparing for slightly warmer daytime temperatures.

     This preparation is critical to the success of a January warming trend.  I have a list.  And at the top of that list is a lengthy preamble which resides in memories of previous January warming trends made wretched by physical injury which often follows a confluence of sudden activity and extended periods of inactivity.  At risk are the back, the knee and what I loosely refer to as the wing. 

    I remember older laborers I have shared work with constantly moaning about this or that ailment and now I am in their number.   We, unskilled at the jobsite mixing mortar with a shovel, carrying block, digging out the bits machines cannot reach, hammer and chisel, acres of ground trenched then double trenched.   Glory days, perhaps.

    But I often wonder how many have replaced physical work with what they vaguely call "exercise".   Dig a hole, I'll say.  Throw away the rototiller, I'll say.   Walk to work, I'll say.  And in saying these things I am saintly or poor.  Sometimes, though,  it is just necessary to spend time wandering around in a pointless way until exhaustion is achieved.

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